The Short of It
Two Champlin, Minnesota, parents got the scare of their life last month when they received an anonymous letter containing two of the creepiest sentences ever: "The children look delicious. May I have a taste?"
The unsigned letter, addressed to a generic "Sir or Madame," arrived on September 27 and was referring to the family's two elementary school-aged kids. Naturally, the note sent the parents into panic mode. They alerted authorities and posted an open response on their community's Facebook page. It read, in part, "NO you may not have my children in any way, shape, or form. And beyond anything physical you may NOT rob them of the security and comfort they feel. ...I will NOT let that happen." Then they urged the person to turn him or herself into the police or get help.
But like a bad horror movie, the already freaky ordeal got even worse. Soon after the letter arrived, the family began receiving magazine subscriptions, all addressed to "Your Tasty Children." Thankfully, police were able to trace the magazine purchases to a nearby neighbor, Carrie Pernula.
They discovered that the 38-year-old wasn't a Jeffrey Dahmner wannabe—she later confessed to being upset with the kids for being noisy and leaving things on her porch. "The way kids are," Champlin Deputy Police Chief Ty Schmidt astutely pointed out to WCCO.
Pernula was reportedly arrested on suspicion of harassment and stalking and was later released. Though she hasn't been formally charged yet, she could face charges of stalking and gross misdemeanor terroristic threats, according to news reports.
I'm pretty familiar with the "get-off-my-lawn" neighbor who seems pained at just the sight of my 4-year-old. We live in an apartment building in New York City, where perfect strangers living thisclose to us feel totally comfortable banging on the walls, complaining to our building's security office and even screaming "Shut your @$#! kid up!" at 2 a.m. when we were sleep training. But we've never had to worry about people threatening to eat our child, and my guess is you haven't either. That's because even the most frazzled, fed-up neighbor realizes the best thing to do is not send weird, threatening notes but approach parents directly—you know, like an adult would. Even the town's police chief seems to agree. "In this case, [Pernula] went way beyond the bounds of what should be done," he said.